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Should I get a projector?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by cloke, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. cloke

    cloke
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    Not sure if this is the right forum but here goes....

    I am moving into a new house in a couple of weeks and I am trying to plan my audio/visual setup. I currently have a clapped out 22" TV with a Sony DAV550 DVD system, TIVO and VIDEO recorder. I have been holding out on buying a new TV until I move house and I am now looking at what options are available/suitable. My wife has been speaking to someone who suggested a projector and she likes the idea of not having a TV in the room. The way the room will be setup will mean a distance of 4Metres from the sette to the Screen. Is this distance too short? I also don't think she would be too keen on a screen but she is planning on painting the walls white (any advice on paint).

    My gut feel is that the room is too small but if not can anyone offer any advice on suitable specs/setup. My budget is about £2000 for everything.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Mark.
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I'm not one for using the pj as a TV, that said the main problem you have is that you need a very bright front projector to overcome problems caused by normal or even dim background lighting.

    So, background lighting is one issue to consider.

    Second, 4m is not 'too short' as long as the size of screen you want to use is less than something like 80". Many people use a white wall, it's not ideal because of the lack of the black 'frame' to, er, frame the image and help the perceived contrast ratio, ie. the 'blackness' of the blacks.

    Have you considered a REAR projection TV? Many of the advantages of a front pj without some of the disadvantages .. one thing being price like-for-like.

    I also personally feel that the 'wow' factor of watching a favourite film on a big screen is diminished if one is used to watching Eastenders/whatever on it all the time. :)
     
  3. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Get a 28" (or smaller if suits)Bush widescreen flatscreen from Aldi at £250 (beats my previous Phillips at twice the price) and then get a Budget LCD Projector (£700-900 for Sanyo PLV-z1 or Panny AE200, Hitachi cant remember model etc etc). Get free view box £60-£100 to give you digital, widescreen programming, more stations etc. Then use Projector for DVD and occassional live sport like champions legue footy or European champs etc and use TV for regular viewing.

    Total cost £1000 to £1250 i.e. the cost of the more expensive widscreen TVs or rear projection TVs etc. and believe me even a budget LCD Projector such as mentioned above will blow you away with the right DVD player.

    Obviously you would need a screen as well. I use a Draper Luma roller screen. 2 descrete hooks into ceiling is all you need. Just hook the screen up then pull it down and away you go. Takes 2 mins. I set my PJ up each time I use as well. The whole operation only takes 5 mins. max. Perfectly acceptable for 2 DVDs a week and a high WAF as well :smashin:

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  4. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    I use my AE100 all the time. And love it. I still get a kick out of watching anything on it - and this after a years use. The rear projection screens (although cheap) are *massive* and (IMO) look absurd in a smallish room. Plus even a 50" screen is not as dramatic as a 72" projection onto a screen.

    My wife likes it as well as it's very discrete when not in use. The screen rolls up out of the way - and you could always put some form of pelmet around it to disguise the thing when rolled up.

    You do need a darkish room, but if you can get a PJ with a high brightness AND good contrast ratio it shouldn't be too much of a problem. You could get some heavier curtains for the summer.

    The viewing distance is fine for a 6 - 7' screen. Personally I wouldn't bother buying another TV and put the money to a better PJ or screen. (keep your old TV stashed away in case you need it for the news and weather). Try a blackout blind from a DIY store first. Cheap as chips and so you can see if you can live with a ceiling mounted screen.

    Chris
     
  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Given his budget I don't see too many pjs which meet those requirements sadly, bearing in mind the other bits and pieces he'll need
     
  6. WeirdFish

    WeirdFish
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    I'm only 3.5 m away from the screen so 4m is fine.

    I have to say tho that I'm amazed that people can use a lcd projector as a tv. With any significant light the colours wash out or you have to spend you life in the dark. Not to mention showing up some pretty awful bitrates from sky.

    I love watching movies on the pj but I have to admit if I had to choose, I would choose a tv over a pj.
     
  7. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    I have my SKY box running through a ProV which improves the image no end from Sky. Although some channels are pretty duff - usually the 'smaller' channels, the premium channels such as the movies, BBC, ITV and suchlike are pretty good - and the PJ is especially good for watching widescreen dramas.

    (Put it this way you can always run it for a while as a TV and add a real in at a later date if it doesn't suit.)

    Or ask on the forum for a demo.

    It's a biggish step to totall scrap the TV, and one I wouldn't like to ill advise you on.

    Chris
     
  8. cloke

    cloke
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    Thanks very much for the advice. This has been very useful. It sounds like the distance isn't an issue but perhaps using it as my TV is. Can anyone recommend a Pj within my budget for my needs (perhaps bering in mind the lighting issue?)

    Mark.
     
  9. cloke

    cloke
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    Thanks very much for the advice. This has been very useful. It sounds like the distance isn't an issue but perhaps using it as my TV is. Can anyone recommend a Pj within my budget for my needs (perhaps bering in mind the lighting issue?)

    Mark.
     
  10. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    There aren't any very bright projectors under £2000 really, those that exist are aimed at the commercial presentation market and have useless CR (contrast ratio) values as far as home cinema is concerned.

    Bearing in mind you'll need an a/v amplifier and speakers this means you're looking at a pj around £1600 probably. For that really the Sanyo Z2 is the best LCD, while a little more gets up a Sharp XV-Z91E DLP, there's also the Infocux X1 for about £900, again a DLP which many like.

    None of these will tolerate much/any background lighting before blacks turn to grey (even the DLPs) and colours wash-out.

    Chris has a good suggestion about a black-out blind as a first screen .. it's not ideal but it's very cheap compared to a 'real' one. There are some offers around with a 'free screen', right now Nexnix have br Z91E on special off which includes a screen. As long as you're not affected by DLP rainbows this could be a good one to look at as a first projector.

    FYI, I started out with a Panny AE300 and recently changed to a Z2 .. sadly I'm affected by rainbows so sadly current DLPs aren't an option for me, hence I know little of the different models.
     
  11. cloke

    cloke
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    Thanks for everyones advice!

    Mark.
     

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